Dell Aero first hands-on!

Here she is, folks -- Dell's first-ever Android device destined for a Stateside release, and AT&T's second overall handset (the first being the Backflip) with a Google-based operating system. At CTIA's MobileFocus event, we were able to brush up against a fully functional Aero (shown beside a Mini 3, just for your information), but we left without seeing the actual home screen. The closest we came to witnessing Android 1.5 boot up was the typical AT&T intro screen, and once that popped up, our presenter promptly popped the battery out in order to stop what would've otherwise been a truly momentous occasion. We begged and pleaded for a few interface shots, but Dell insisted that AT&T was holding an invisible gun to its head in order to keep the screen dimmed. We were told that the interface was still being tweaked, and the carrier simply wasn't ready for the world at large to take a peek.

Outside of that, we learned that this will indeed be the planet's lightest Android phone ever when it ships (believe us, it was light), and while v1.5 will be onboard, Dell seemed confident that 2.1 (and beyond) would be made available shortly after launch. We were also told that it would ship with a 5 megapixel camera (a step up from the Mini 3's 3 megapixel shooter), an undisclosed amount of internal storage, a new color / design scheme (the one you see here will be the only shade available at launch) and a 2GB microSD card bundled in at purchase. You'll also find a good deal of AT&T baked into the OS, but it's not like you should be surprised to hear of carrier meddling. Finally, we were informed that pricing would be set by AT&T, and that it would be shipping "soon" -- far sooner than "six months from now" -- from both AT&T and Dell channels (though not available unlocked from the latter). There's also the possibility that Dell could arrange some sort of Aero / Mini 10 combo deal for those looking to really sink their teeth into a hefty AT&T contract, but there's nothing substantial to go on just yet in that department. Enough chit-chat -- give the gallery below a look to see what's coming your way.